HC Deb 24 April 1947 vol 436 cc1232-3
27. Major Legge-Bourke

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he is now in a position to state the percentage of current supplies of men's wear involved in sending out 5,000,000 garments to troops overseas; and if he expects that the greater turnover in 1947, estimated before the fuel crisis, will now materialise.

Mr. Belcher

Civilian garments are not being sent in bulk to troops overseas, and the trade bodies with whom this matter was earlier discussed were informed accordingly several weeks ago. As regards the second part of the Question, I would refer the hon. and gallant. Gentleman to the reply which my right hon. and learned Friend gave to similar Questions on this subject on 3rd April.

Major Legge-Bourke

Does the hon. Gentleman not realise that retail shops are unable to obtain enough clothes to meet the coupons of the people who deal with them; and can he give an assurance that before any clothing is exported to troops overseas some inquiry will be made to see that civilian rations will not be cut down?

Mr. Belcher

There has been no suggestion that the civilian ration is to be cut down. I have given the hon. and gallant Member a categorical reply in answer to his Question that supplies of clothing in bulk are not sent to troops overseas, and anybody who spreads that story abroad is doing the country a disservice.